Varian anticipating Forest improvement over Park Hill trip

A step up in trip is expected to help Save A Forest raise her game for the Hippo Pro3 Park Hill Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster.

The Roger Varian-trained Kingman filly has already made giant strides this year, progressing from a maiden win at Wolverhampton to landing Listed honours at Newmarket on her latest appearance.

During the intervening period, Save A Forest won a Windsor handicap, finished second in the Lingfield Oaks Trial and placed fourth behind the brilliant Snowfall in the Oaks at Epsom.

She has 9lb to find with John and Thady Gosden’s likely favourite Free Wind in Thursday’s Group Two contest, with her trainer banking on the extra two furlongs to help her bridge the gap.

“It looks like her running style will suit the step up in trip and we’ll have to see how it plays out on the day,” said Varian.

“She seems versatile ground-wise. If we had our choice we’d prefer a bit more ease in the ground, but it is what it is.”

Save A Forest had the option of taking on the boys in Saturday’s Cazoo St Leger, but connections opted to keep the filly against her own sex.

Varian added: “I think it was a relatively straightforward decision, once we saw what was left in the Leger.

“She’d have been a big outsider in the Leger, whereas she looks to have a genuine chance in the Park Hill. It’s the right race for her and hopefully she’ll run very well.”

Eileendover winning at Market Rasen
Eileendover winning at Market Rasen (Tim Goode/PA)

Eileendover would be a popular winner for Classic-winning trainer Pam Sly.

The daughter of Canford Cliffs earned rave reviews after winning three bumpers last winter, before being beaten for the first time at Aintree’s Grand National meeting in April.

Eileendover has since had her attentions switched to the Flat – running well in defeat at Haydock, Pontefract and Newmarket before making a winning handicap debut on the July Course last month.

“If we could get in the first three and get a bit of black type it would be amazing. That’s what we’re hoping for,” said Sly.

“If she’s not good enough, she’s not good enough, but at least we know she’s going to stay. There’s a few shorter than us in the betting that haven’t even gone further than a mile and a half before.

“I was amazed she went on that quick ground at Newmarket. She wasn’t stiff or anything afterwards, which was good.

“We haven’t really made any plans beyond this week. She won’t be going jumping, I don’t think.”

The Hugo Palmer-trained Golden Pass beat Free Wind and Eileendover when landing a Listed prize at Newmarket in July, but has since disappointed in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

Golden Pass winning at Beverley
Golden Pass winning at Beverley (Tony Knapton/PA)

Palmer said: “She ran so badly in the Geoffrey Freer, but her blood picture was wrong after that. We’re happy to put a line through that and her work was good on Saturday.

“I had been looking forward to stepping her up to a mile and six – it has always looked like it would suit her. Just because we had one go and it went wrong at Newbury, I’m not prepared to change my mind on that.

“The favourite is Free Wind, who she beat fairly well one start ago and they’ve both had one start since. We finished last and Free Wind has won. I think if we both came here not having run another time, she would be a much shorter price.

“She’s rated 102, so she’d have an obvious chance. You’d have to excuse her last run when she didn’t run anywhere near to her mark.”

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